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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

In an MLB draft first, teammates are taken with the top two picks

Paul Skenes, a right-handed starting pitcher from Louisiana State, was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 M.L.B. draft.

By Benjamin Hoffman

Louisiana State’s baseball program pulled off an unprecedented feat Sunday, with players from its College World Series-winning team being taken with the top two picks in Major League Baseball’s draft in Seattle. With the No. 1 overall pick, the Pittsburgh Pirates chose Paul Skenes, a right-handed starting pitcher, and the Washington Nationals chose Dylan Crews, an outfielder, at No. 2.

Max Clark, an outfielder from Franklin Community High School in Indiana, went to the Detroit Tigers with the third pick.

Why it matters

The best previous result for teammates in draft history was first and third, which happened in 2011, with UCLA right-handed pitchers Gerrit Cole (No. 1, Pirates) and Trevor Bauer (No. 3, Arizona Diamondbacks), and in 1978, with Arizona State infielders Bob Horner (No. 1, Atlanta Braves) and Hubie Brooks (No. 3, Mets).


LSU was a dominant champion this season and Skenes and Crews were both considered worthy No. 1 overall picks. The only disagreements seemed to come in terms of who would be selected first.

The honor ended up going to Skenes, 21, a 6-foot-6, 235-pound power pitcher who went 13-2 with a 1.69 ERA and an outrageous 15.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 2023. He had gone 11-4 in two seasons for Air Force before transferring to the Tigers.

Crews, 21, is 6 feet tall and weighs 205 pounds. He batted .380 over three seasons with LSU, with 58 home runs in 196 games. He has the speed to play center field at the major league level, and may prove to be more of a stolen base threat than he was in college.

Clark’s selection at No. 3 was somewhat of a surprise. Wyatt Langford, a star outfielder for Florida, the College World Series runner-up, was widely seen to have the potential of a No. 1 pick, and Walker Jenkins, a high school outfielder from North Carolina, was the top prep player on many prospect lists.

The left-handed-hitting Clark has the potential to hit 20 home runs a year at the MLB level, but the Tigers may have been more interested in his speed, which could be game-changing with the league’s new rules that encourage stealing bases.

Langford ended up falling to the Texas Rangers with the fourth pick, while Jenkins rounded out the top five when he was selected by the Minnesota Twins.

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